Participation in Partisan Political Activities - Faculty Handbook
The following policy was approved by the Board of Trustees on December 12, 1950.
As citizens, the faculty/academic staff members of Michigan State University have the same rights and responsibilities of free speech, thought, and action as all citizens of the United States. Their position, however, imposes special obligations, such as emphasizing that they are not institutional spokespersons, and exercising appropriate restraint.
Obviously, faculty/academic staff members have a binding obligation to discharge instructional and other regular duties, and performance of these duties may be impaired by any private activity requiring a large portion of time. For the mutual protection of faculty/academic staff members and the University, faculty/academic staff members campaigning as political candidates for state or federal offices shall do so on their own time. For the period of such candidacy, it is required that they obtain leaves of absence or continue to work at the University on a part-time basis. Final determination for such decisions shall rest with the Board of Trustees.
Leaves of absence are not required of faculty/academic staff members who become candidates for offices of a temporary or part-time nature, such as members of a municipal charter revision commission, members of a local school board, or holders of municipal office.
This policy is intended to safeguard the freedom of speech, thought, and action of faculty/academic staff and to avoid impairment of the significant contributions they are capable of making toward improved local, state, and federal government.